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Elefsina, Greece


competition entry


Elisavet Plaini

Aaron Koen

The idea is to underline the connection between the contemporary and the ancient city of Elefsina. The basic principle of the proposal is the restoration of earlier layers of the city that are very important and convey the message of their era in recent times.

The new square is not to be built. It is materialised through inserting precast units onto the urban subtext. The units can be placed, excluded or removed. The array of these elements creates a second layer above the old city and public space serves as a research lab of the palimpsest.

If a unit is chosen to be excluded then the existing trees can find the sufficient space to develop. If it is chosen to be placed then in the future it is very easy to be removed if necessary and the ground underneath to be selectively excavated and become a window to the past. The findings are then recorded, coded and exhibited.

A new parameter of the place becomes the technological light that is born on the surface. The gravity center is shifted from the adjacent archaeological site that is washed with sunlight during daytime to the contemporary square at night.

Creative lighting is adjustable and programmed related to time, visualising the notion of seasonal change.

Interactive lighting places the user into the center of action. By using contact sensors the volume of lighting is increased according to the number of contacts. The visitors’ presence is registered and the ephemeral becomes a spatial signifier.

The new square works as a machine but in contemporary terms, like a living organism. It draws a direct analogy to the mythological procedure of initiation, but now it is an initiation to technology, archaeology and interaction. Knowledge is linked to the palimpsest re-introducing the ancient myth. The interaction of the visitor with light is a game of mystery and its solution at the same time.


Iroon Square



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